Japan's Ground Self-Defence Force remove contaminated soil from areas tainted with radioactive substances from the Fukushima power plant.

Fukushima operator scraps plan to dump water into sea

Fukushima nuclear plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), has scrapped a plan to dump water it treated for radiation contamination into the sea.

Tepco said it was considering discharging some treated water into the sea because it was running out of storage space, but this caused an uproar among Japanese fishing cooperatives.

"Treated" means once-high radioactive content has been reduced considerably, but not completely.

"The decision not to include the plan was made after talks on Thursday with the federation of fishing cooperatives and opposition from the government's Fisheries Agency," a Tepco spokeswoman said.

Japan’s Fukushima plant was struck by a devastating quake and tsunami in March and has released radiation into the atmosphere, carried by winds, rain and snow, ever since.

Tepco general manager Junichi Matsumoto said the company would try to build more tanks and recycle more of the treated water for cooling purposes.

Worries over the safety of food, water and air have been dogging the Japanese public since the March disaster and cases of excessive radiation in vegetables, tea, milk, seafood and water have stoked anxiety despite officials' assurances that the levels were not dangerous.

In another effort to allay such concerns, Japan's health minister on Friday announced that the ministry will carry out regular checks of baby food after dairy firm Meiji earlier this week found radioactive cesium in its baby formula. Kyodo quoted minister Yoko Komiyama as saying the tests would be conducted at least every three months.

Tens of thousands of tonnes of water contaminated with radiation have accumulated at the plant, 240 km northeast of Tokyo, after Tepco, early in the crisis, tried to cool reactors that suffered nuclear fuel meltdowns by pouring in water, much of it from the sea.

Tepco estimates that the amount of treated water requiring storage is increasing by 200 to 500 tonnes every day. It says the plant is likely to reach its storage capacity of about 155,000 tonnes around March.

The utility released more than 10,000 tonnes of water tainted with low levels of radiation in April to free up space for water with much higher levels of radioactivity, drawing sharp criticism from neighbours such as South Korea and China.

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